April 2, 2012


  Some changes I've made to my regimen since my growth journey

When I first got my hair cut my hair routine was way easier. With an inch or two of hair, all you have to do is literally wake up, spritz with moisture, and then go. I could wash it every morning and within a few hours of Summer weather it would be dry. With my new length, I've noticed some shifts in my hair routine. It's not as easy as it used to be, and it will probably become more and more work as it gets longer and longer. Here are the major aspects of my hair regimen that I find myself doing now more than I ever used to.

one: Sectioning 
Photo Credit: thankgodimnatural.wordpress.com
I find it extremely helpful to part my hair in sections when styling or washing my hair. This just makes tackling a head of crazy curls and tangles a lot easier. I also shed a lot less hair when detangling if I detangle smaller sections at a time. With one inch hair, I couldn't really part my hair even if I tried. Whether I'm applying curlers or braiding for overnight styling, if I didn't part my hair into at least four sections, it would be daunting. I also section my hair in the shower when I am shampooing and conditioning. This helps prevent my hair from excessive tangles and allows me to shampoo each section at a time. Shampooing smaller sections makes it easier to clean my scalp which is where product buildup happens. It's important to keep a clean scalp to promote new hair growth and shampooing sectioned hair gets your scalp clean efficiently. 

two: Dry Shampooing
Photo credit: forgreenarchitect.com
I don't mean the powder stuff. What I mean is shampooing my hair outside of the shower before I turn the water on. Instead of drenching my hair with shower water and shampooing while the water's running, I often use a spray bottle to saturate my hair with water instead. This just saves a lot of water and heat because all I have to do with my hair in the shower is rinse the shampoo out and apply conditioner. The conditioner can then sit in your hair while your scrubbing or doing your shower thing. It also doesn't take as long for me to rinse out conditioner, because I don't mind if a little conditioner remains in my hair. Before applying shampoo, I sometimes wet my hair with a mixture of apple cider vinegar (good stuff), water, and a few drops of rose oil to dilute the vinegar smell, which helps loosen dirt particles and product buildup, getting my hair extra clean without over-drying. Vinegar also helps add shine.

three: Manipulation
Photo credti: art.com
Now that I've gained some length, I have more freedom to experiment with different styles. I find my hair at its softest and shiniest when I twist it in braids (usually two strand twists) and let it dry over night. I think the twists help lock in moisture as it dries. It also helps clump my curls as to avoid frizz. I rarely do a simple wash-and-go anymore. Air drying takes forever and my curls shrink up so tight that way - I end up with a lot more frizz, dryness, and tangles. It may be that I haven't found the right wash-and-go product for me yet, or it may be that I just don't like how a wash and go looks with my short length. Maybe after a few years of growth, I'll manipulate less, but twists are miraculous for tangle prevention and when my curls are a bit stretched from overnight styling, my hair becomes a lot more manageable. I will definitely be keeping this up as my hair continues to grow.

three: Being Cost Effective
Photo credit: kaboodle.com

This is basically paying attention to what's in the bottles and what's on the price tag. I used to think my hair needed some special miracle product because regular shampoos and conditioners "were not for my hair texture." Now I pay less attention to what textures products are marketed for and more attention to what ingredients are actually in the bottles and how much they cost. Of course, I love trying new things, but the reality is you don't always need to spend the money to get the results and many products that claim to do wonders actually have a slew of not-so-great things for your hair in them. I found a shampoo I really love from Trader Joe's called nourish spa. The ingredients are impressive (a long list of organic oils, fruit and plant extracts, no sulfates) and so is the cost. Both the conditioner and shampoo are around $3.00 a bottle and they are sold in regular sized bottles. I don't mind paying a little more for styling products because those are what stay in my hair the longest, but I try to finish one bottle before buying more.

four: Less Styling Products
Photo credit: healixonline.com
You might think that more hair would translate to more product. Maybe for styling products (gels, curl creams...) this is true while I'm actually applying, but overall, I find myself taking a more minimalist approach to product usage since my hair has grown. Longer hair is more of a pain to wash (from sectioning) and a pain to dry (air drying takes forever and blowdrying makes my hair dry and frizzy). I try and wash it just once a week to save time and moisture. This means that whatever products I add to my hair will be coating my strands for a whole week and that can add up fast. I try not to reapply any product during the week unless my hair feels particularly dry. This way, I go through bottles much more slowly and it gives my hair and scalp some room to breath. With less product, shampooing becomes easier, too.

five: Silk Scarf
Photo credit: allposters.co.uk
I hear a lot of "wearing silk scarves to bed is not sexy," which, ok yeah, is true. But I'd rather be looking crazy while I'm asleep in bed than walking around looking crazy with breakage and frizz during the day. When my hair was shorter, I didn't worry about it at night and it only took a few spritz of water and some product to bounce back the curls in the morning. With longer hair comes some serious bed head, and I've found covering my hair at night helps reduce frizz and allows styles to last longer. In my eyes, the less staying up until however late at night twisting my hair, the better. It also helps lock in moisture and secure your ends so both your hair and its natural oils stay on your head and not on your pillow!

six: Accessories 
Photo credit: polyvore.com
Even though longer hair is more work, longer hair can also be more fun. I find myself using more accessories like flowers, scarves, and bands on days when I don't feel like wearing it completely out. When my hair was an inch long, I never liked how accessories looked because I felt like I didn't have enough hair. Whereas now, I think I can pull off certain looks I couldn't pull off before. I also have more room to style with. Even though I'm usually pretty lazy with experimenting with new styles, I could if I wanted to. Bands are also nice to turn to on three-day and four-day hair, when my hair starts getting defiant. I can just rock a puff or a flower and be done.

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